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Administration Freezes Mental Health And Addiction Programs Database

by Countable | 1.11.18

What’s the story?

In 1997 Congress authorized the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices, and online database of effective, vetted programs for treating mental health issues and substance abuse disorders. Mental health and substance abuse providers access the centralized database to aid in finding reputable and effective options for clients.

The administration froze the database in September, so that no new programs could be added to it. Now they have confirmed to the Washington Post that the contract to provide the database has been terminated.

According to officials, "A new entity will take over the program’s duties. A director for that new group was announced Monday, but no other staff is in place." The new program will supposedly employ “an even more scientifically rigorous approach” to selecting programs for inclusion, though no details have been released about what that approach will entail or how the new program will work.

Yet according to a provision of the 1997 Drug-Free Communities Act, any prevention programs authorized by that law must be certified under the National Registry, so the replacement of the registry presents legislative challenges.

Overseeing the replacement program is the National Mental Health and Substance Use Policy Laboratory, or Policy Lab. The lab was authorized under a sweeping health-care law passed in 2016, called the 21st Century Cures Act. Policy Lab officials notified the registry contractor Dec. 28 that it was terminating the contract "for the convenience of the government."

Lawmakers and service providers that regularly access the registry were surprised and concerned about the contract termination and the lack of information about what is coming next.

What do you think?

Should the administration reinstate the existing registry until a replacement is up and running? Should the replacement be scrutinized by the public and Congress and be subject to a public comment period?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Sahmsa.gov)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(64)
  • Donna
    01/11/2018
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    'Policy Lab officials notified the registry contractor Dec. 28 that it was terminating the contract "for the convenience of the government".' What a chilling comment. I was not aware the American people paid government employees "for the convenience of the government". Exactly which government would that be? Would that be the one governed by the laws of this land and supported by the citizens? Or would that be the 'shadow' autocratic government slowly being built by DJT and his conspiracy-theory toting, constitution-hating, Putin-backing sycophants? 'Lawmakers and service providers were surprised and concerned about the termination of the contract'? Are the lawmakers concerned enough to stop the bullshit going on in this country and finally fulfill their oath of office and the duties required? If not, then stop feigning shock. You enabled this monster. The country has no one to blame but the Congressional GOPs who have let this entire administration get away with whatever the hell they want because they are too spineless and worried about reelection to give a damn about their country. You should all be ashamed of yourselves, but that would require a conscience. Hope you all rot in hell, if you believe in that kind of thing.

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  • Sarah
    01/11/2018
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    I wonder how President Trump plans to “fix” the opioid epidemic in this country if he also doesn’t fund the research to determine what constitutes a successful program. Guess he doesn’t just want to ban the words “evidence-based science” he wants to dismantle evidence-based public health programs altogether...

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  • Kathy
    01/11/2018
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    Sound just like our administration. Terminate a program without any plan for a replacement or a better program. And when did “for the convenience of the government” become a reason for anything? OMG, wiping my brow and again filled with anger over this amazingly ignorant disturbing and destructive group of folks who call themselves our leaders.

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  • Azrael
    01/11/2018
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    For the convenience of the government????WE ARE THE GOVERNMENT You work for us Fix it now

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  • Michael.J.L
    01/12/2018
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    Hour by hour, day by day, this corrupt, inept, illegal Administration is destroying this nation bit-by-bit. When will the GOP stop being cowards and remove Trump from office? He is nothing but a Russian Fifth Collumnist and a traitor. PUT COUNTRY OVER DAMN POLITICS!

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  • Holly
    01/11/2018
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    As a mental health professional I would like more of an explanation as to why this happened? What’s the goal of this administration? It feels as if they are getting rid of systems set up to help the most needy. Is this true?

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  • Robert
    01/11/2018
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    Nice work guys, to disassemble a system that helps multiple citizens of this country was serious illness and to not have a replacement in place before disassembly? Do you have any sense at all? Great executive planning here, ASSHOLES

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  • John
    01/12/2018
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    Stop 45 & his sycophants! They are waging war on the country.

    Like (7)
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  • Keith
    01/12/2018
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    Working in the mental health field, I can tell you that mental health struggles and addictions often go hand-in-hand, it’s called a duel diagnosis. Very often one will experience the symptoms of mental illness or challenge, and self-medicate. This administration’s decision to cut this program shows how out of touch it is, and how much the president doesn’t mean a bit of what he says about helping people. According to NAMI, 20% of Americans report having a mental health struggle. That’s literally the same amount of Americans as have voted for the president. In more realistic numbers, that’s 1 in 5 people. Walk into a room, count out 5 people. That fifth person statistically has some form of mental health struggle. The legislative branch needs to do its job, and hold the executive branch accountable. This executive branch is literally waging a war of classism, racism, xenophobia, and sexism—just to scratch the surface. Do your jobs. Help Americans. And hold this ridiculous president accountable.

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  • S
    01/11/2018
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    They closed this because trump doesn’t believe in any science of any kind. They have no intention of putting money into treating addiction. Sessions believes treatment consists of jail. As far as mental illness goes, my guess is trump denies it exists or believes people who are diagnosed as “mentally ill” are malingerers. “Rigorous science!” There won’t been anything rigorous or scientific. That’s why there is nothing to replace the database except words, and that is as far as it will go. Further, I imagine he doesn’t believe therapists, counselors, psychiatrists, and other treatment positions are legitimate occupations. He is not stable, the whole area makes him uncomfortable and he doesn’t want any of that mumbo jumbo in govt records. It’s just like he has required certain words be eliminated and science denied in federal documents and policies. He doesn’t like medical science or research and he has required that those words, the word fetus, and actual data not be used in budgetary documents of NIH. “Convenience to the government” is code speak for the Pres doesn’t believe in science or treatment and wants to eliminate any of the words associated with it or theories developed, and the admin staff doesn’t want to keep having to listen to him vent. Employee guidance manuals have been eliminated in depts effected by his censorship. This is the same thing only these employees are those who are in professional treatment, advocacy, and support positions in the public. His personal beliefs and hang ups are dictating what resources are and are not available no matter the negative impact.

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  • Jeanne
    01/11/2018
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    This is terrible, and may be a portent of more terribleness to come. Sure big pharma had a lot of input in this decision...

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  • Scott
    01/11/2018
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    Wtf?

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  • Chris
    01/11/2018
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    How is this even remotely a good or beneficial idea? Personally, it borders on negligence but it for sure is unethical. This needs to be undone. This could, in all reality, mean life and death for many.

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  • RadicalModerate
    01/13/2018
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    Cannabis is an effective treatment for withdrawal from opiates. But it’s not affordable in New York. Due to corruption in the governors, and the commissioner of the department of healths offices, cannabis prescribes are prohibited from cultivating their own medicine and are forced to over pay for inferior medicines at government authorized retailers.

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  • Justin
    01/11/2018
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    If it’s to better educate, find better treatment options and therapies and etc, then good. I am someone who works with SMI (seriously mentally ill) and majority of them also struggle with substance abuse. We need to be able to evolve in treatments, interventions, counseling and so on, in order to continue to try and lower the substance abuse rate as well safe and effective treatments. I do however believe the site should stay available as every second someone is in need of SA help or mental health treatment. We also need to focus on why there’s so many mentally I’ll people who don’t get treated and how there’s not enough supply to keep up with the demand. 1 in 4 have a mental illness, and the percentage to the untreated or undiagnosed is sad.

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  • Jessica
    01/12/2018
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    I strongly disagree with killing this program and having no tenable replacement or even a plan to review. The information on this site helps the nation’s most vulnerable; please take steps to stop this.

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  • CannabisSavedMe
    01/12/2018
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    Disgusting how this was done for the convenience of the government. I thought the government was supposed to be for the people. It’s awfully inconvenient for our mentally ill and addicts that they can’t get the help they need or access to a database to find help. It makes me sick how our government is in the pockets of big pharma who’s pushing this pharmaceutical dope on our nation, and then they shut down tools that are in place for people to get help to get off of it. Even if “They” ( The Hierarchy Enslaving You) are working to get a new database up and running it should be complete and available for use before the old database is shutdown. This just shows how much “They” really care about the health and wellness of our nation. It’s not about health at all it’s all about money and the subjugation of our sick and needy. The concern of our people should be the first and foremost for our government not the government. People should be outraged!

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  • George
    01/11/2018
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    What gives the administration the right to ignore the law? This is so simple it is not up for “interpretation” and so therefore if the administration did not like it they can lobby Congress to change the law. By not informing Congress of their intent to suspend application they have broken the law of the land and should be sanctioned appropriately.

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  • BeStrong
    01/12/2018
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    We are in dangerous times America...the fight against truth and science is at full speed. ... The administration froze the database in September, so that no new programs could be added to it. Now they have confirmed to the Washington Post that the contract to provide the database has been terminated. #GutlessCongress Vote2018 #Vote2020

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  • Ticktock
    01/11/2018
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    This is not a surprise. If it doesn’t benefit the wealth or corporations why is it needed. The Trump Administration has no use for anything that benefits the average American citizen. If there’s not a dollar in it for him he does away with it and Congress will not stand up for American citizens. If we do not turn out these Republican lap dogs in 2018 and then him in 2020 we deserve to lose our country.

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